Happy Birthday, E. T. A Hoffmann!

Born January 24, 1776, Ernest Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann (later Ernest Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann), in Koenigsberg, Prussia, to Christoph Ludwig Hoffmann, a lawyer, and Lovisa Doerffer. Hoffmann became a lawyer as well, in government service until 1806. He then took up both  composition and writing, becoming known for such works as the opera Undine and stories that became the basis for the ballet Coppelia (Leo Delibes) and The Nutcraker (Tchaikovsky). Hoffmann continued to work in the legal profession throughout his life, serving as a judge (beginning in 1814).

More about E. T. A. Hoffmann here.

Alexandra Richter, Master of the Fantastical: The Life and Work of ETA Hoffmann.

Below is a short bibliography of law and literature in the work of E.T.A. Hoffmann.

Becker, K., The Juridical Voice of Literature, 3 On Culture: Law Undone.

Mladek, K. The Ethics of Writing: Law, Violence and the Modern Subject (Kant, Kleist, Hoffmann, Benjamin, and Kafka) (Dissertation, 2002).

Schlutz, Alexander, “A poor, imprisoned animal.” Persons, Property, and the Unnatural Nature of the Law in ETA Hoffmann’s “Das Majorat”.” ETA Hoffmann: Transgressive Romanticism (2018): 19.

Vedder, Ulrike. “Majorat: Literature and the Law of Succession in the 19th Century.” A Cultural History of Heredity II: 18th and 19th Centuries: 175.

Weiss, Hermann F., ‘The Labyrinth of Crime.’ A Reinterpretation of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Das Fräulein Von Scuderi, 51 The Germanic Review: Literature, Culture, Theory 181 (1976).